Number one for English language teachers

Teenagers: Fruits and vegetables

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

An ice-breaker exercise for practising conversation and vocabulary.



  • To practise simple personal questions: What’s your name? How old are you? Are you married? How many children do you have? What’s your job?
  • To revise basic vocabulary.
  • To break the ice and make students relax and enjoy using English.
  • To incorporate body language and intonation into the lesson.
  • To get students moving around the classroom and changing the dynamics away from a teacher-led activity.


  • Ask students to write down the following words on a scrap of paper, keeping what they write secret form those around them:
  1. The name of a fruit
  2. The name of a vegetable
  3. A number between 1 and 200
  4. The answer to the following questions – Do you like football?
  5. How many pencils and pens do you have?
  6. 6What is the first thing you do every morning?
  • Now tell students that these things are actually:
  1. Their first name
  2. Their family name
  3. Their age
  4. Are they married?
  5. How many children they have
  6. Their hobby
  • Now they must get up and go around the class and ask the personal questions and share information about their new selves.
  • Encourage them to shake hands (if appropriate) and make eye contact when meeting new people.
  • If they don’t automatically use intonation appropriate for surprise etc, why not model it before the activity. E.g. How old are you?A hundred and fifty seven.Really!? (said with rising intonation and a long stretch of the word).
  • This game ensures that students really listen to the answers of their questions as it is an information gap – they won’t know what the answers will be.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Hi Helene,

    Thanks for your feedback. That has now been amended.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • One thing doesn't work though:
    6. What is the first thing you do every morning? / 6. Their job.

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  • My students really got a kick out of doing this. It worked well because the group already knew each other so just interviewing with normal names would have been boring.

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